Photography Is Not a Crime – Posting Pictures of Kids in Public Places on Your Website is Legal

Well the 2011 Pahoa Parade is now long over.  I posted 145 pictures of the parade on my blog and now it appears that I have upset a parent because in one of those pictures their child is in it.

My son getting dragged by a hot dog at the 2011 Pahoa Parade

I received the following email and when I tried to reply to the sender the email bounced so I guess this person was using a fake account or something to bother me.

Please remove the picture of my child from your website from todays Pahoa Parade

I really had no clue which picture they were talking about so I responded like this although now I realize they never got this:

“Your crazy… A) which picture are you talking about… B) when you show me the picture… I may feature it now that you attempting to suppress my freedom of the press and taking pictures in a public place!

I’ve been thinking about this on and off all day and I just can’t believe how ridiculous some folks maybe at times.  I wonder if this parent also requested that the Hawaii Tribune remove any pictures that may have posted of their child if the Tribune captured them in their pictures of the parade.

I know that Hawaii24/7 has a whole 5 minute video featuring nothing but folks in the parade.  Will this parent insist that Hawaii24/7 edits out the picture of their child in it if they happen to see this video?

I’ve had an ongoing discussion with some folks on my facebook page and I can’t believe some of the comments I have received. However, one of the responses I respect the most comes from a pre-school teahcer:

…I think many schools have FB (Facebook) pages these days as an alternative to costly web sites. It’s much easier to portray the fun things that go on, the beauty of an environment, and the joy of learning form a smile on a child’s face…from a picture, than a verbal description. A picture used to simply “speak a thousand words”. But now, a picture has become a tool for child endangerment. Wow! What is this world coming to???

Many folks think it’s straight up illegal at times!  Others say you could be harming a child by placing pictures of them on the internet.

Do folks realize that most schools now a days are putting their childrens pictures on the internet?  My son’s school is a private school and considered one of the best schools in the State… Kamehameha Schools and even all of their teachers from Kindergarten on up have very public blogs where they post pictures of the kids doing school functions.

When parents are afraid of the internet or the tools available for kids to use on the internet… It’s kind of scary to me.  I myself would rather have my kid surfing the internet and looking at pictures of his friends and classmates…. then walking down to the local store by himself!

Parenting and education is crucial in the development of children.  My son has a very public website and he is only 7 years old.  Is some “Bully Parent” going to tell my son that he can’t post pictures of his friends on his site?

And just so folks know… I probably would have removed that particular picture… had the email not come anonymously nor with the “DEMAND” that came with it.  Still to this day… I don’t know what picture it is… however I do know what organization they belong to.

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5 Responses

  1. There are bans everywhere on photos of children. But in a public event it is legal. I’m upset because I was asked to not use my DSLR to photograph the Merrie Monarch. Oh, I could use my phone or pocket camera. That way I could not get a good photo I’m sure. As it turned out I couldn’t.

    As I looked through my search engine I could see why they wouldn’t let us. They sell the photos from professionals. I remember a time when attendance was not so good for the festival and they almost shut down. Now it’s so popular that they are making money from everything. Heaven forbid they allow someone to get nice photos for their blogs.

  2. Went to enroll my kid in a mainland charter school,they have waiver for parent to give,or deny permission,to the school to use childs photograph in any school promotions.You got a website which can potentially reach millions of people,all kinds of people.You live in a small community,a tight community,a family oreintated community,if parent has a problem with you posting a photo of their kid REMOVE it.Where respect?You know history of kid?History of family?NO,so show respect to parents wish.Im a parent and I ask you nicely,one time,you give me lip,I BUST YOURS.Children are very sacred to some parents,better watch your step there.

  3. As far as I know, it’s standard routine for the schools to require parents to fill out forms at the beginning of each school year to confirm that they will (or not) allow their child to be photographed, video taped, appear in the yearbook, use a computer, connect to the internet, etc.

  4. When I was in a nonprofit that hosted events for underprivileged kids, we didn’t take pics at our events. In some cases some of these kids had left a domestic violence situation or there was an abduction risk due to custody disputes. The noncustodial parent may not know where their child is (or will be).

    I hear what you’re saying though, this was a very public event where it would it would be obvious that media and others would be taking photos. If you let your child participate, the expectation that photo permission will be obtained is a bit unrealistic.

  5. Repeat after me: “no good deed goes unpunished.” Boo.

    That’s a really cute pic of your boy getting pulled by the doggie. :)

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